Founded by Antoine LeCoultre nearly two centuries ago, Jaeger-LeCoultre defines luxury. Jaeger LeCoultre heavily utilizes precious metals and elaborate designs to create watches of unmatched opulence. Additionally, with over 1,000 calibres to its name, the company is among the world's top watchmaking innovators and is revered by horologists worldwide. In short, Jaeger LeCoultre offers extravagance as an authoritative brand. Find the Jaeger-LeCoultre watch that is perfect for you with our collection at Crown & Caliber.
The history of Jaeger LeCoultre begins in 1833 when inventor and self-taught watchmaker Antoine LeCoultre established his own workshop. A decade later, LeCoultre created a monumental invention: the Millionometer. The Millionometer was the first instrument to measure a micron and helped to establish the metric system as the standard for watch measurement. Just three years later in 1847, LeCoultre developed another pivotal advancement in watchmaking with the creation of the crown winding system, which eliminated the use of keys to wind watches.
After years of working tirelessly on his inventions, LeCoultre finally received the recognition he deserved. In 1851, London held its first Universal Exhibition to celebrate the commencement of the modern age. Here, LeCoultre was honored with a gold medal for his horological discoveries, including a gold chronometer, and Queen Victoria purchased one of his watches.
Over the course of the next decade, LeCoultre’s son would join the business to help him begin to transform the modest workshop into a larger scale factory. At the time, Swiss watchmaking was centered on small workshops, so this was a bold and innovative move for LeCoultre. The brand became the first to establish a manufacturing operation in the now iconic Joux Valley, where Jaeger LeCoultre still resides to this day.
Expanding the business allowed LeCoultre to develop even more complicated movements. In 1891, they began manufacturing double chronograph movements that combined repeaters and chronographs in a single part. This groundbreaking work would later serve as the foundation for the brand’s famous Grande Complications.
At the turn of the century, LeCoultre’s grandson joined the family business and helped them begin to establish an international presence. The LeCoultres heard of a man in Paris named Edmond Jaeger who was manufacturing ultra-thin movements. Instead of setting out to compete with him, the LeCoultres decided to approach him about a collaboration. By 1907, the team had created the world’s thinnest mechanical movement, the Calibre 145—a movement that would be used in Jaeger LeCoultre watches well into the 1960’s.
Just three years later, Jaeger and LeCoultre teamed up with another group of expert watchmakers seeking to develop the smallest movements possible, which would eventually lead to the creation of the first wristwatches. After fifteen years, their hard work and dedication finally paid off. In 1925, LeCoultre introduced the world’s smallest movement, the Calibre 101.
In 1931, LeCoultre debuted one of its most iconic watches, the Reverso, and in 1937, the partnership between Jaeger and LeCoultre was made official. Jaeger LeCoultre was born.
In the years to follow, Jaeger LeCoultre would continue to be a leader and pioneer in the watch industry with the inventive spirit that made them famous. In 1946, they debuted their first automatic watch. In 1956, they released the Memovox, the first automatic alarm wristwatch. And, in 1982, they created the world’s thinnest quartz movement, the Calibre 608.
In more recent years, the Reverso has remained at the center of the Jaeger LeCoultre line. 1991 marked the 60th anniversary of the Reverso, and to commemorate it, the brand introduced a special model in a limited edition of 500 pieces. In 2006, Jaeger LeCoultre accomplished another amazing feat with the Reverso. With six unique patents, they created the Reverso Grande Complication Triptyque, the world’s first watch to offer three dials powered by a single movement. And three years later, the brand received two major awards in the 21st century’s first chronometry competition for the Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2 as well as the Master Tourbillon. The Reverso was celebrated again in 2001 on its 80th anniversary with the release of the Grande Reverso Ultra-Thin, which draws inspiration from the original 1931 models.
Video: Jaeger LeCoultre Watches | History and Model Overview
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